Let me jump straight in, I had the grand pleasure of teaching 7500+ new users from stages in late 2017 how to download their first crypto wallets, how their public and private keys work and how to begin in the world of crypto.
These are my observations of where these users got stuck and why mass adoption hasn’t occurred already. Mostly it is user experience (UX) problems that need solving.
These seminars were done over 1–2 full days. The reason it even needed a seminar, to begin with, is hidden inside these 5 UX challenges that follow:
1. What the f*ck is this?
No matter how obvious it is to you “crypto nerds” out there, this is confronting to most normal people. It looks like utter garbage on the screen and most everyone can’t remember their public keys, including us nerds.
The utility of the address is limited by it being unmemorable also as now we can’t easily give this public key on a phone call for example. What we need is a simplified system like a money tag or $motag. Then all you’d have to remember is your motag.
2. How do I spend these cryptocurrencies and why would I want to?
Not everyone can spend it easily and that has several factors to it.
Before you try to tell me about the latest app like revolut that allows some people to spend it everywhere like its money, that’s not true for everyone in a lot of countries. If I was to generalize I’d guess that 90%+ of people don’t have access to be able to services like these because of KYC requirements and local regulations or capital controls.
Another major part of is the ‘why’, with the price fluctuations make it impossible to plan cash flow forecasts in the short to mid-term. As Tom Howard, my co-founder says often, “Bitcoin is great! But it’s not practical if say I want to buy a car and my savings are in bitcoin, I might end up with 3/4 of a car tomorrow or maybe 2 cars”.
There is a solution to this, stable cryptocurrencies, more on that a bit later.
3. “Can I just skip this?” Private Keys Confusion
This was shocking to me to learn. I watched people see all the warning screens in the setup process of the wallet and even after I told them this is essentially the title-deed or bearer shares to their assets, they still asked: “do I actually need these words”.
The reason is clear to me why this happened. It was too early in the sign-up process to have any impact in terms of importance.
For example, what we should have is incremental decentralization; whereby a new user, to begin with, can load a small deposit into any new wallet by entering their name and email. Then if they go above a certain deposit level or a number of transactions they get a security warning that shows them how to secure their wallet after they have some momentum with the product.
When they get this warning they should then have choices of how to secure, mnemonic phrase or seed words is one way. Another way should be Shamir secret sharing, where they can choose five friends to share a shard of their key for the purposes of recovery. In Shamir secret key you would need three of the five friends to recover your private keys. Obviously, these five friends would not know who each other are in most cases.
4. How much is this even worth?
When it comes down to split the bill at lunch and you’re sending your half in Bitcoin, how many satoshis even is that? Total bill $50 between two people, your half is $25, now work out how many satoshis that is and try to do it in your head…
It’s too complicated people see the most relevance in their native currency when it comes to everyday savings and investments. With the advent of truly decentralized cryptocurrencies like MakerDAO’s DAI, we can now reliable plan for spending in the US Dollars.
Furthermore using synthetic asset contracts we can turn crypto assets into any native stable currencies. Giving us the experience we want as an individual, the currency we know best so we can use it more fluently.
5. Why do I even need your crypto address, I have your contact details already?
For small one time payments, the security risk of sending someone money to their Facebook or email inbox is negligible. Why should those who already have crypto have to wait for others to accept crypto payments, the short answer is they don’t have to with social logins and social graph technology.
That’s right you will be able to in day not far away just be able to login to your crypto wallet with your Facebook account and send your friends money whether or not they’ve ever received crypto before. Giving you the ability to send money to anyone, anywhere.